A Boeing marketing official acknowledged reliability issues with its 787 Dreamliners Monday and said the Chicago-based aerospace giant is taking steps to make the high-tech plane more dependable.
“Today, the reliability of the 787 is better than 95 percent. It’s not as good as we’d like to see it. It’s not as good as our customers would like to see it, so we’re looking at ways to improve that reliability over time,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth during a press conference in Santiago, Chile, Reuters reported.
“I would refer to the problems as teething problems,” he said. “I don’t think they’re systemic.”
The aircraft has suffered an assortment of electrical and safety issues, the latest of which were over the weekend when budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle grounded a new 787 and demanded Boeing repair it after it suffered repeated breakdowns.
On Sunday, a 787 operated by Poland’s carrier, LOT airline, had to land unexpectedly in Iceland because of a fault with the craft’s identification system.
The problems followed electrical and other safety issues that have afflicted the Dreamliner, including battery meltdowns that prompted regulators to ban the long-haul jetliner from flight for more than three months this year.
Aviation analysts say the glitches aren’t enough to derail the program or spook investors since it’s common for new aircraft to encounter hiccups when first entering service.
“Every plane that we bring to the market clearly or oftentimes has issues as we go through the maturation process,” Tinseth said. “The 787 has been no exception to that. Clearly, we’ve had some challenges on 787 reliability, and we’re focused on making that reliability better.”
The 787 is built in North Charleston and Everett, Washington.